Patterico's Pontifications


Full Footage Released of Baby from Video Fiorina Described in Debate

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:49 pm

TIME Magazine:

The video that Carly Fiorina graphically described at the last Republican presidential debate, depicting a moving fetus on a table following an apparent abortion, was released online in its entirety Tuesday morning, according to Gregg Cunningham, the founder of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, who collected the footage.

Cunningham, an anti-abortion activist, declined to identify the date, location or authors of the video in an interview with TIME Monday night, saying his group makes agreements of confidentiality in an effort to acquire images of abortions. He also made no claim that the images shown in the video had anything to do with Planned Parenthood, the organization that Fiorina and others have targeted for federal defunding. “I am neither confirming or denying the affiliation of the clinic who did this abortion,” Cunningham said.


The full source video, which is extremely graphic, lasts about 13 minutes, and shows a fetus being extracted from the mother, placed in a metal bowl, prodded with medical instruments and handled by someone in the room. At times the fetus appears to move, and at other times it appears to have a pulse. There are no images on the full video of any attempt to harvest the brain of the fetus, and there is no sound. Cunningham said the jump cuts in the video are the result of the camera being turned off and on.

Cunningham says he is confident the procedure was an abortion, and not a miscarriage, owing to the lack of medical treatment offered to the fetus. He said he estimated the age of the fetus at about 17 and a half weeks. “It is unimaginably more horrifying than the clip that we licensed for CMP to use and that Carly Fiorina made reference to in the debate,” Cunningham said.

He’s not kidding. It is unbelievably horrifying. If you want to watch it, it is linked at the TIME article. I will not link it or embed it here. The delivery is shown in graphic detail, with the tiny baby emerging slowly at first and then falling out of the woman’s vagina. It is writhing unmistakably as a pair of hands grabs it, the head allowed to flop around, and is taken and tossed in a metal bowl, where is writhes further, and is occasionally poked at by a pair of scissors.

Of the footage used in the Central for Medical Progress video, Amanda Marcotte told us there were “a few seconds of footage of what appears to be a stillborn fetus. The provenance of the video is unknown, there is no audio on the video, and there is no indication that the fetus was aborted.” If you can stomach it, watch the video. The baby was most certainly not stillborn.

But I truly recommend that you pass on watching it. Take it from me.

Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards And Her “Heavily Edited” Truth

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:31 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I haven’t had time to read much about Cecile Richard’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee today, but in a quick perusal of links, this caught my eye. After being asked about mammogram machines in Planned Parenthood clinics, Richards stated:

“We do not have mammogram machines at our health centers, and we’ve never stated that we did…”

And here’s Richard’s heavily edited truth from a few years ago:

In 2011, reeling from a vote in the House of Representatives that would deny any and all taxpayer funding, the Planned Parenthood abortion business turned to its non-abortion “services” to defend the need for the government dole. On February 21, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards joined the talk show of pro-abortion activist Joy Behar and defended Planned Parenthood against the legislation seeking to de-fund it.

“If this bill ever becomes law, millions of women in this country are going to lose their health care access, not to abortion services, to basic family planning – you know, mammograms, cancer screenings, cervical cancer,” she said.


Douthat on Planned Parenthood and Fiorina

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:46 am

Ross Douthat has a fair, detailed, accurate, well-written piece about the controversy regarding Carly Fiorina and the Planned Parenthood videos. Here’s the meat of what he says:

Then if you watch the full film, you’ll see that the situation the technician is describing involves the worker showing her how she can tap the heart of the just-aborted fetus they’re looking at and make it start beating again, just before they jointly cut open the fetus’s face in order to actually acquire the brains. Again, we don’t see the tapping or cutting happen; the footage of the fetus that we see is from a different case, an undercover video obtained by a different pro-life group. And then the film as a whole is using the technician’s anecdote and the footage as part of an argument — buttressed by footage of interviews with Planned Parenthood higher-ups and others — that because fetal tissue harvesting is much easier when the fetus comes out intact, abortionists have incentives to perform later-term abortions in ways that sometimes/often end with fetuses alive in the air before they die.

So that’s a (no doubt partial) attempt at a summary of the film and footage that’s at issue. And having completed it, I’m a little bit confused about what’s being debated here. On the one hand, I think Fiorina’s critics are correct that she misdescribed the video, in two ways: She implied that the footage of the fetus was part of the scene being described (maybe because she thought it was; the documentary doesn’t make it clear that it’s a different fetus), and she has the Planned Parenthood worker saying “we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain,” as opposed to “look at this, I can make its heart beat; okay now let’s harvest its brain.” Neither of these misdescriptions strike me as lies, per se, in their original form: If you watch the film as a whole it’s easy to see how you could misremember the scene the way Fiorina describes it rather than the way it actually plays out. (Just as lots of people think they remember the line “play it again, Sam,” which is never actually uttered in “Casablanca.”) But I agree with Lithwick that it would have been, and still would be, appropriate for Fiorina to correct herself, to say that she misremembered some of the details, instead of standing by her original words in their entirety.

But for her words to rise to the level of an extraordinary “big lie,” a vicious slander of abortion providers everywhere, it seems to me that something more than this kind of misdescription would need to be in play. If the scene in question literally did not exist, which is what the language of her critics consistently suggests — if Fiorina had conjured up a vision of an intact fetus with a working heart and twitching limbs having its brains harvested out of her hyperactive pro-life imagination — well, that would merit liberal shock and outrage. But she didn’t conjure or invent it: It’s very easy to figure out what scene she’s talking about, and the discrepancies between what’s in the documentary and her description aren’t wild or incredible or weird. There’s no outright fabrication here, in other words, and what Lithwick calls “the big lie about the kicking fetus and the brain harvesting” is a roughly-accurate summary of what the film actually shows. (A twitching, dying fetus? Check. A firsthand description of harvesting a brain from an intact fetus? Check again.)

I agree with every word. Well done.

On Dahlia’s Facebook page, where she linked Douthat’s piece, I asked Dahlia whether her outrage about uncorrected factual inaccuracies extended to Amanda Marcotte’s incorrect statement regarding footage of a kicking, twitching baby:

The provenance of the video is unknown, there is no audio on the video, and there is no indication that the fetus was aborted.

As I discussed in this post, the folks at the Federalist asked the people who provided the footage. (Journalism! Imagine that!) The providers of the footage responded that the footage was of an intact delivery abortion done at an abortion clinic. Marcotte’s claim was wrong. I wrote Slate about this, and in their corrections page for that week, I saw this . . .

In a Sept. 18 Behold, David Rosenberg misspelled Hartford Art School.

. . . .

In a Sept. 14 Future Tense, Mike Godwin misspelled Sen. Orrin Hatch’s first name.

. . . .

In a Sept. 14 Slatest, Ben Mathis-Lilley misspelled the city Gautier, Mississippi.

. . . but nothing about Marcotte’s error.

What a surprise, huh?

The folks at Dahlia’s Facebook page are doing a lot of handwaving, citing to articles about a different issue, remonstrating me for being insufficiently upset about Fiorina’s inaccuracies, and wholly refusing to acknowledge even that Marcotte got it wrong.

I guess some uncorrected factual inaccuracies are privileged over others . . .

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